Fukushima man tests above safe lifelong radiation limit

08/15/2011
By

TOKYO (majirox news) — A 60-something man from the Fukushima prefecture city of Minami Soma has received a radiation dosage that calculates his lifelong exposure would exceed the permissible safety limit of 1 millisievert (mSv) over 50 years, Minami Soma City officials said.

The man, whose name was not disclosed, was detected as having absorbed radiation that would amount to 1.02 mSv over the coming 50 years, the first resident from the city’s tests to exceed what has been designated as the safe level for ordinary Fukushima prefecture residents.

Minami Soma Shiritsu General Hospital officials were quick to claim the safety levels were set merely for ease of understanding among prefecture residents.

“At this point in time we don’t know whether he has actually absorbed 1 mSv,” a hospital spokesman said.

The man currently lives in an evacuation area in the western part of Minami Soma, which has a comparatively high atmospheric radiation reading. His work requires him to spend considerable time outdoors. On March 12, the day after a earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear crisis at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the man spent nearly the entire day outdoors, looking for a source of drinking water.

Minami Soma Shiritsu General Hospital plans to conduct further tests on the man from Aug. 23.

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